The Grey Area

IFA Contemporary Asia: The Power of Student Initiatives

June 3, 2020 By Eana Kim One year ago, a small group of passionate students from the Institute of Fine Arts (IFA), NYU’s graduate program in Art History—including Han Hongzheng, Kolleen Ku, and the author—conceived the idea to launch a forum on contemporary Asian art.[1] We all shared the same goal, to establish a platform […]

Collection Spotlight: Norman Bluhm and Frank O’Hara’s “Poem-Paintings”

May 20, 2020 By Luke Campbell In the artistic whirlpool of the New York School—a coterie of painters, poets, dancers, musicians, and photographers in mid-20th-century New York City—a poet and a painter got together and splashed words and paint on sheets of paper. The poet Frank O’Hara—also an art critic and curator, and the personable […]

Artist Spotlight: Dia al-Azzawi

May 19, 2020 By Géranne Darbouze Taking into account their geographic locations and their religious and political histories, artists from the Arab world occupy a unique position. As a result, many have dedicated their lives to highlighting injustice — among them Iraqi artist Dia al-Azzawi. Known for his abstract paintings, sculptures, and tapestries, Azzawi is […]

In Memoriam: Thomas Sokolowski

May 11, 2020 By Michèle Wong It is with a deep sense of sorrow that I write about the passing of Thomas Sokolowski, who served as director of NYU’s Grey Art Gallery from 1984 to 1996. During his tenure, Tom organized many groundbreaking exhibitions and was a co-founder of Visual AIDS—but what I treasure most […]

Curating in the Time of AIDS: An Interview with Thomas Sokolowski

This interview was originally published in the special Stonewall 50 edition of Leslie-Lohman Museum’s journal, The Archive, which was co-edited with New York University’s Grey Art Gallery. In 2019, these two organizations collaborated with the Columbus Museum of Art on Art after Stonewall, 1969–1989, a major exhibition that explores the intricate relationships between the modern […]

ArteEast Interview: Suheyla Takesh

April 2020 The following conversation was produced by ArteEast, a leading New York-based not-for-profit organization founded in 2003 that is dedicated to engaging a growing audience with the contemporary arts from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and its diaspora. Through public programming, strategic partnerships, and dynamic online publications, ArteEast is a forum for […]

Artist Spotlight: Menhat Helmy and the Path to Space

April 23, 2020 By Karim Zidan As in the rest of New York City, the crowd at the Grey Art Gallery was dense and tightly packed, a mixture of ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities gathered together at the opening reception for the exhibition Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World 1950s–1980s, which took place on January […]

Artwork Spotlight: Rachid Koraïchi’s “Sans toi, ni moi, ou l’hallucination nostalgique (Without You, or Me, or the Nostalgic Hallucination)” and “Cet espace incrusté de nos destins (This Space is Inlaid with Our Destinies)”

April 15, 2020 By Yunzhi Pan When it comes to thinking about Arab modern art, it is nearly impossible to overlook the impact of the Hurufiyyah movement. Beginning in the 1940s and lasting into the 1980s and beyond, artists in this loosely defined movement introduced Islamic calligraphy into modern visual art practice. Many of them […]

Artist Spotlight: Saloua Raouda Choucair

April 15, 2020 By Géranne Darbouze I shall be supplied with whatever I need; and, if I have not everything I desire, I may conclude it is either not fit for me, or I shall have it in due time. —Matthew Henry As they say, life has a strange way of making things work out […]